A noted graphic artist and illustrator, Kodi has designed high-visibility projects across various platforms. In addition, he is also an accomplished singer and a writer. His work has been displayed in Times Square, publications (The New York Times, Uptown, Vibe), television (MSNBC, CBS, ABC, etc.), and even retweeted by First Lady Michelle Obama.
From childhood, he depended largely on his imagination, believing in the power of creating something tangible from where nothing existed previously.
Born to a family of advocates and activists, Kodi continues the tradition by volunteering and fundraising for various political, environmental, and social causes. He serves as a “big brother” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, a mentor and admissions coordinator for Out in Tech, a Brand Ambassador for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Media, and an advisor to aspiring teen artists in his home state of Delaware.
A sedentary child, Kodi scoffed at any attempts to help him become active, including karate, running and basketball. As an adult, his lack of activity and overeating caught up with him. At his highest, Kodi weighed over 350 pounds. Regular visits to Washington, DC inspired him to make a dramatic change.
Upon moving to the nation’s capital in 2008, he made several adjustments to his lifestyle. He completely changed his eating habits, going from mindless eating to healthier options. He found ways to make exercise fun and part of his social life by joining friends for workouts, from taking classes at the gym to activities such as hiking, biking and running.
Ultimately, Kodi lost 175 pounds over a period of five years by following a plan of consistent diet and exercise.
In January 2012, Kodi traveled to New York to compete in his first half marathon, running on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a tradition he now undertakes yearly to honor friends who have suffered through these forms of cancer.
In January 2014, Kodi’s journey was profiled in the annual “Half Their Size” issue of People magazine that documents stories of individuals who have lost extraordinary amounts of weight without the aid of surgery or pills. His feature included “before” and “after” photos and tips for healthy weight loss, a blog on People.com and multiple television appearances. Kodi has also been prominently featured in People’s commemorative HTS books “The Ultimate Diet Guide” (April 2014), “The Ultimate Get-Fit Guide” (April 2017) and “Half Their Size: Special Edition” (March 2019), promoting the health benefits of walking.
In 2016, Kodi began producing and co-hosting The Swirl, a weekly Odd Couple-style podcast featuring Stephanie Ruby (of the Hungry Mother), discussing topics such as food, pop culture and goal setting. He is also developing a nonfiction tale covering his life thus far.
In April 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History acquired prayer candles Kodi designed as part of their Rapid Response Collecting Task Force. Proceeds from the candles raised thousands of dollars for organizations such as World Central Kitchen, the CDC Foundation, Operation Ward 57 and D.C. Safe. The materials will join long-standing existing collections documenting past epidemics and pandemics, as well as other national crises such as the Great Depression and the Sept. 11 attacks.
Today, Kodi carries on a torrid affair with Twitter, fitness trackers Fitbit and Lose It, and is passionate about encouraging and helping others on their personal journeys. He has never starred in any Tyler Perry films, nor episodes of Hoarders, Paternity Court, or To Catch a Predator. Thus, his parents remain proud.
Photo credits: Main image courtesy of Erin Lassahn Photography, “Half Their Size” feature courtesy of People Magazine/Troy Word